Last week, NBC shocked the TV world by going back on a programming decision. The network cancelled Timeless, a freshman time-travel series, and the show's loyal fanbase cried out for more. Three days later, NBC reversed the decision, announcing the show would be given a second season.
The fans rejoiced, the network was happy to move forward with the show, and it seemed like everyone walked away a winner.
The decision to un-cancel a series is a rare one, but don't go thinking it hasn't been done before. Shows are often given a second-life, it just doesn't always happen quite this way. It's not often the same network grabs something out of its own garbage can, so to speak.
When shows get a second life, it often comes at the hands of bigger production company, one with a little more freedom. In the past few years, this trend has become a little more common. Once Yahoo! decided to make a sixth season of Community, streaming services made big bids for cancelled shows that they knew had potential. Netflix alone kept Arrested Development, The Killing, and Longmire alive for additional seasons.
Even before streaming took over television, there were a handful of great shows that had to get brought back to life. Here's a few popular titles that got cancelled at one point or another.
In the case of Jericho, the un-cancellation was a strictly a move to please a strong fanbase.
CBS aired the first season from 2006-2007, and it wasn't pulling in the ratings that a post-apocalyptic show with a big budget should have. So, like many others, the high-concept series was given the axe.
However, Jericho had quietly earned an incredibly rabid following. Those who loved the show were all about it. When the network announced that the show was cancelled, fans showed up at the CBS doors in protest. Many even covered the network offices in peanuts, which was a major reference to the show.
CBS listened, to an extent. The network execs knew that the show wouldn't grow to the viewership necessary to survive. So, instead of giving it another full season, CBS greenlit seven additional episodes of Jericho.
This extremely short second season gave the writers a chance to wrap the story up, and the opportunity to prove that the network cared about its fans.prevnext
Poor Unforgettable, that show just couldn't get a break. Despite debuting to 14 million viewers in its first season, CBS cancelled the series.
A couple of weeks after pulling the plug, the network execs had a change of heart. All of a sudden, Unforgettable was back, preparing for another season.
Fast-forward to 2014, after the third season, and CBS pulled the plug once again. Still, there were those that believed the show could be a success.
In 2015 A&E decided that Unforgettable would click well with its audience, and the cable network ordered a fourth season.
Things didn't go as well as planned, and Unforgettable was cancelled for a third and final time.prevnext
Before there was Netflix, TNT was the cable savior of a cancelled network series. Southland was dumped by NBC after just one season, but folks knew that there was more to be done with the cop-drama.
Reports claimed that the show was too dark and gritty for basic cable, and NBC didn't want to continue airing it at 9 pm. So TNT said, "We'll take it!"
Southland went on to become a great success for TNT. The story of a few officers in the Los Angeles Police Department went on to air four more seasons.prevnext
Family Guy is one of the most talked-about animated shows to-date, but you probably forgot that the show was dead and buried for quite a while.
After airing three seasons, from 1999-2001, Fox decided that there would be no more Family Guy to go around. The dark comedy of The Simpsons was enough for the network.
From 2001-2005, there was no Family Guy on the air, but people didn't forget about it. DVD sales took off, and Fox noticed that people still couldn't get enough of the Griffin family.
So, Family Guy was given a second chance. It's a good thing the network took a chance, because the series became a national phenomenon. It's currently heading into season 15.prevnext
Many will remember JAG as the series that paved the way for shows like NCIS and Blue Bloods. What many won't remember though, is the fact that JAG was almost a one-and-done.
NBC aired the military procedural in 1995, but pulled the plug before the first season had even concluded. This is where CBS comes in.0comments
The rival network quickly picked up JAG, knowing there was so much more that could be done. Then, shortly after, the show became a hit.
JAG ran for nine more seasons on CBS and remains an integral part of the network's history. NCIS began as a JAG spin-off series, and went on to become a weeknight mainstay.prev